2009 NBA Champs? Take The Orlando Magic
So I am an idiot, right? I am jumping on the bandwagon after Orlando has had its best win of the year, right?
This Magic team has the ability to win a title, and if you don't believe me, let me explain why.
First off, let's look at the other remaining teams in the playoffs.
The Cavs: The definition of a one-man team. If you can't win a game with LeBron putting up 49 points and Mo Williams stepping up for one of the best finishes of his career, odds are you probably won't get to the championship, let alone win a title. The Cavaliers are a great team, and LeBron is a phenomenal athlete, but when it comes to winning titles, this team is just not ready.
The Nuggets: Chauncey Billups is a phenomenal player, and while he is still around in Denver, the Nuggets immediately have a shot at a title. But giving away Game One to the Lakers like they did just shows how far Denver has to winning a championship.
The Lakers: Look, the Lakers are the most talented team in the playoffs, hands down. But until this team can play with the same heart, fire, and intensity they did in the regular season, I will not consider them to be the frontrunner for this year's title, nor will I consider them to be the best team in the playoffs.
So why the Orlando Magic?
Because the won Game One? No.
Because of Dwight Howard smashing down a shot clock? No.
Because of their fire, intensity, character, playmakers, clutch shooting, excellent coaching, and tenacity? Yeah.
We can start by looking at Orlando's "Big Three", who by the way, have played almost as well as the Celtics' Boston Three Party did this season.
Dwight Howard: Do I really need to make a case for Dwight? He is arguably one of the most dominant players on the floor in this era, and is the best center in the game today.
Rashard Lewis: One of the best three-point shooters in the game. If there was one question I had about Lewis's game, it was whether or not he could perform in the clutch. Game One anyone? Rashard is a darkhorse player who thrives under pressure, and if the Magic can get help from others on defense (which they do every night), Lewis usually will succeed admirably in games.
Hedo Turkoglu: He is in my opinion the most underrated player in the game. If 17 points, five rebounds, and five assists isn't good enough to be considered an elite player, then let's factor in his ability to win games. How many clutch threes has Hedo hit over the last few seasons? A LOT. More than almost anyone in the league. And while this is always on SportsCenter's Top 10 plays and looked at as unbelievable, Turkoglu still doesn't get the credit he deserves.
Not to mention Rafer Alston, who has done a hell of a job coming in for Jameer Nelson at point guard for the Magic this season.
As far as coaches go, there is probably no one I would rather have right now than Stan Van Gundy. And I am NOT a Stan Van Gundy fan. I think he is pompous, too enthusiastic on the court, and flat out a weird guy.
That said, he is a superior coach to Mike Brown in Cleveland, after all it was his original Heat team that started off their championship run with the fire that propelled them to a title against the Mavericks.
I am not a Magic supporter nor am I a bandwagon fan. But I am a fan of well-played basketball, and that's something Orlando brings to the table every night.
They have an excellent road record, can play under pressure, and have the talent to stick with anyone.
While I love LeBron James and believe he is the best player in the league without question, I think his team is just not fit for a championship. That roster is just not good enough to compete for a title, and it has nothing to do with LeBron's heart, style of play, or commitment to Cleveland.
This years Magic team is NOT your usual No. 3 seed from the East. They are tough, can spread the floor, and have a great combo with their ability to shoot the three ball and Dwight Howard down low. It's one of the most unique styles of play I have ever seen by a team.
A lot of people have been very uninterested in Orlando because of their spot in the East, and the overall appearance of the Eastern Conference.
Let me say that the East is no longer the ridiculously incompetent conference it once was.
There are several impressive teams that have come out of the East this season, and while teams like Chicago, Atlanta, and Miami are years from competing for a title, they are improved and much more well-equipped to be in the playoffs.
The West is obviously a superior conference, but the Celtics, Magic, and Cavaliers can stick with any team in the league right now.
Are the Magic a phenomenal team that everyone has slept on all season? Maybe, but what they definitely are, is a team that has everything going its way.
This could possibly be one of the worst seasons in NBA history. The Cavs, Nuggets, and Lakers all could go down to anyone, and no one right now looks more suited to win a championship than the Orlando Magic.
The Magic bring it every night, and don't ever stop fighting. To say that energy has no place in titles is absurd, because if that was the case, how would the previous champions have ever succeeded as well as they did?
The Orlando Magic and the 2009 Title. Its an understatement to say I like their odds.
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